The Image you Project

communicateSome call it the “consumerization” of business; the buzz word used to describe the way IT emerging in the consumer market spreads into business.

It’s the way businesses are starting to embrace social networking and seeing it has the potential – if used correctly – to drive productivity rather than simply squander it.  It’s the adoption of the notion that we want to see each other’s smiling faces when we instant message or call each other, just like we’re used to seeing profile pictures when we’re communicating on consumer platforms such as Facebook or Skype.

Business platforms are taking on this social aspect with vigour.  Microsoft’s Unified Communication platform, which can be seen as the integration of Outlook, Lync and SharePoint are increasingly playing on this social aspect to foster communication that is familiar to most consumers.

Meet the Social Enterprise.  They microblog using SharePoint 2013’s innate ability to post short status updates and replies, hash tag, @ mention; much like the Twitter experience.  They keep up to date with each other via Newsfeeds; much like the Facebook experience.  They use Lync to instant message, voice call, host virtual meetings where they can share knowledge via whiteboards and screen sharing.  They’re making communication fun and the opportunities to collaborate in ways they never did before grow exponentially.

The overarching issue for business with this sort of evolution is making sure it is done in a professional, controlled and secure manner.  What is an acceptable Facebook profile picture may not be the image that the Social Enterprise – no matter how cool they are – is wanting to project.  With Lync’s ability to federate with external entities (meaning users can connect and communicate with contacts outside of the business) it’s important to manage this.

Tools are available to assist the Social Enterprise retain control over the image their teams are projecting.  For example, Outlook Photos is a free tool by Exclaimer that can import staff photos into the Active Directory image attributes, giving everyone a portrait photo in the Outlook People Pane, their SharePoint profile and on Microsoft Lync.

At Correct, we’re embracing the social and are positioned to give you advice and assistance if you’re looking to do the same.  Call us today to chat about your vision for a more collaborative workforce.